From: Alasdair Fotheringham (Reuters / Cyclingnews.com)
Conclusion: Generally good, if the distance from the press room to the finish represents what seems to be a permanent complication and getting arrows to find your way to accreditation needs resolving for 2014.
- Information available on the website: Excellent, emails with prior information and a practical guide, with timetables, of the whole system.
- Signposting to the Accreditation Centre: No indications (with arrows) on how to get to the press room and no information on this on the email. No indication of where to park, to the point where we parked about a kilometre away. There even wasn’t a parkingplace for the press on saturday. And as for indications to the PPO – non-existent coming up from south Liege and from north Liege.
- Race live-ticker: Excellent, and with a full race report sent out afterwards.
- Working conditions at the start: difficult to talk to riders at the signing on because there are two exits. Other than that keeping the public out of the teams area only partly worked. One advantage of LBL is that you can talk to most riders at the previous day’s team presentation, but finding them at the start itself is a lottery.
- Working conditions at the finish: No problems. Tv’s all over the place make it easy to follow the race. After the race it is easy to walk to the buses. Only what happend when it was raining. The Tv’s were standing outside.
- Pressroom: ok. Tv screens could be a lot bigger. Enough space (just!) for everybody to work. Free water a plus.
- Distance Pressroom – Finish: As usual, the roadbooks indicates three kilometres but it’s around six kilometer, so missing a chunk of the race is inevitable and it takes a long time to get back. Would it be possible to have a chapiteau at the finish – this has advantages and serious possible disadvantages: to be discussed…
- Distance Finish – Teams buses: No problem.
- Internet: Excellent (and better than Fleche Wallonne).
- Information about the race in the Pressroom: Live ticker and tv. No complaints there.
- Results: very good. You get a provisional within ten minutes of the race finishing and all the rest is there very soon later on.
- Food or drinks at or near the Pressroom: Enough water and for the first time that I can remember in ten years, the coffee from the bar in the press room was drinkable! A good little snacks machine, but we could do with some more ‘serious’ food (pizzas/sandwiches) available in the evening.
- Press conference: Good news was that for the first time this year we had a videoconference with the finish line, saving a lot of time getting the winner to the press room. The bad news was that the connection didn’t work for about ten minutes, so we lost a lot of the information, although Dan Martin (thanks Dan) talked a lot!
What Amstel does far better than LBL is that we get ONLY the winner in LBL whereas at Amstel we get the top three finishers. Can we PLEASE have the top three for the post-race press conference…as I am sure race organisers know, the more quotes we get the more we can write and that means the more publicity we can give their race.
- Amount of professional and non-professional journalists: Not sure, to be honest.
- Other points: none for now, but if anybody has any send them over to me!